Southern Nash's Edwards finds a home
By SAMUEL EVERS
Thursday, June 14, 2018
Leroy Edwards, Southern Nash’s senior ace, spent his final season with the Firebirds looking for a place to play baseball next season.
This past Wednesday, he found the chance he was looking for, when Fayetteville Tech Community College baseball coach Lee Troutman contacted and told him they had a spot on the roster for him.
For both he and SNHS coach Todd Brewer, it was a sigh of relief and a goal accomplished.
“We had been talking with another school, they came and watched him play two or three times. We felt pretty good about that. We started asking what the plans were, if Leroy would be in plans,” Brewer said on Thursday night. “Things didn't work out the way we thought they would. That did discourage him a little but, he thought maybe he wouldn’t get the chance. He jumped on this one.”
Edwards, who throws right-handed and fields with that hand as well because he is missing a portion of his left hand, finished with five wins and a 2.90 ERA in 62 ⅔ innings pitched, by far a team-high. He was part of the reason for a nine-game winning streak halfway through the season that brought the Firebirds from the cellar of the conference to a first round playoff berth.
In the playoffs, Southern Nash traveled to Fayetteville-Terry Sanford — an eventual 6-2 loss — where Edwards started the game. Amongst the crowd was FTCC coach Lee Troutman, who came to watch the senior and, despite the loss, was impressed with what he saw.
“In some ways we thought it was kind of fate the way it lined up like that,” Brewer said.
Edwards was invited to, and attended, an open tryout on Memorial Day Weekend — this upcoming 2019 baseball season will be the program’s first year — and, a few weeks later, Troutman extended the invitation for him to play there next season.
“To do what he does with only the one hand — and he does it better than most people do with two — that kind of shows me that anything is impossible,” said Brewer, whose first year coaching the Firebirds coincided with Edwards’ freshmen season on varsity. “If you give him a chance, he can prove people wrong.”
“Leroy is a special guy, special player. Special young man,” he continued. “We’ve both been here for four years. He has worked really hard to improve and get better. I’m excited to say he gets to play at the next level.”